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Somehow Good

Published July 15, 2014
Topics librivox, audiobooks,

LibriVox recording of Somehow Good by William Frend De Morgan.
Read in English by Helen Taylor
A mysterious man arrives in London and, in a freak accident, gets electrocuted on an underground train and loses his memory. A young lady called Sally Nightingale feels responsible, and brings him home to her mother. But in a strange twist of fate it transpires that her mother is the man's ex wife, whom he divorced twenty years earlier in unhappy circumstances. The old attraction is there, but what will happen if and when his memory returns? A melodramatic plot, but with a deft comic touch, a host of vibrant characters, and a large dash of romance. Fans of Thackeray will love de Morgan's style! - Summary by Helen Taylor
For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

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Download M4B 01-18 (204MB)
Download M4B 19-33 (200MB)
Download M4B 34-47 (203MB)


Reviewer: TheBookworm - - October 14, 2014
Subject: Somehow Good...

... is good!

William Frend De Morgan is much better known as a potter in the Arts and Crafts style than a novelist. But Somehow Good is witty, satirical, and throughly enjoyable. The premise is a bit farfetched but so's Shakespeare, and you don't hear many grumps about him on that score.

Helen Taylor is a new LibriVox star. I'll be looking for other stuff by her. Helen has a natural feeling for pacing and a youthful voice that one can listen to for hours. She also navigates those loooonnnggg 19th-century sentences without getting me lost.

Well done Helen on all counts!

TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)
Reviewer: mikezane - - September 19, 2014
Subject: Can I just review the reader and skip the book?
The reader of this book is magnificent. Her cadence and voices are excellent. I did notice the change in recording quality, but it was such a small thing to me, so enthralling was the reader, that I really didn't care about it.

Now, ahem, to the book itself. The story is good, not great, but good. It is a sweet love story about love lost, and then regained. I almost cried, so sweet is the story in places.

Nothing is ever quite perfect tho, and the author tends to be wordy and ponderous in places, so much so that it becomes distracting. I got a bit impatient with it in places. I am glad I didn't give up tho because again, I can't say enough about the reader, she is excellent.

One other bit I'd like to mention... If a person has a negative opinion about things and posts a negative review, they are as entitled to their opinion as anyone else. Post your own and balance it out. Nothing annoys me more than the 'give A's to everyone' mentality. I'd rather hear that there's an issue with something and choose to overlook it, than to hear it's perfect and find out it is actually crap.
Reviewer: Helsbelles - - September 7, 2014
Subject: A quick response
Hi - I'm the reader. I just wanted to respond briefly to apologise for the poor quality in the first 14 chapters - it was my first ever audio recording, and I was using my laptop mic: I subsequently invested in a microphone, which is why the quality changed! I know it doesn't sound great, so I'm sorry if it spoils it for anyone.
To be honest I'm astonished that my efforts have found an audience, and touched that people have taken the time to review it. Thankyou for your kind comments.
Reviewer: ekortright - - August 29, 2014
Subject: Good story, excellent reader
Yes, the first 14 chapters have a poor sound quality and some noise (I kept expecting it to turn into sound effects, like footsteps, doors slamming, etc.).

But as has been pointed out, the sound is as good as any recent Librivox recording for the last two-thirds or so.

Frankly, the reader is so good that I would gladly have listened to the whole book even without the improved sound. I plan to listen to it again eventually.
Reviewer: sarahm - - August 23, 2014
Subject: Somehow Very Good
In the title Somehow Good we cannot help but hear the rest of Tennyson’s verse from “In Memoriam”

O yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final goal of ill,
To pangs of nature, sins of will,
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood...

De Morgan's novel is wonderful.

The reader Helen Taylor is excellent.

As has already been noted, there is some background noise in the earlier chapters. Maybe these chapters were recorded with earlier equipment. I think clarity has improved significantly in recent years even over books recorded 7 or 8 years ago. However, the quality of the reader is such that this does not seem very important to me.
Reviewer: HeinrichNordpol - - July 24, 2014
Subject: what etiquette!
How perilous it can be to remark a petty few lines! Although I am quite shaken about by the delivered broadside I feel obliged to apologize, a bit at least. It had crossed my mind that later on the sound quality might improve. But when? If you only had informed us! Nevertheless I'm glad you did so now (unfortunately in a rather offensive way), so that even I though mean of spirit and of ungenerous disposition besides other things will listen to it myself with satisfaction and - gratefulness. No, it's admiration me thinks.
Reviewer: poet-taster - - July 24, 2014
Subject: Meanness of spirit
If the ungenerous person replying to my remarks had listened farther into the book, he would have noticed that the slight issue with noise-cleaning resolved itself at Chapter 14 (of 47). Thereafter the quality is equal to any found on LibriVox.
Since I did not actually comment on technical quality, but rather the talent of the reader, I do not think I offended against either “truth” or “convenience”. (His invoking of Luther’s historic proclamation in such a petty context makes one doubt Mr Nordpol’s sense of proportion, amongst other things.)
Be grateful for the “torrent”, sir. It’s there for everyone - however little they seem to deserv e it.

(Original review - "Highly accomplished reader")
I had previously encountered William de Morgan through a radio serialisation of his picaresque novel "Joseph Vance"; so was attracted to try this reading by Helen Taylor.

What an excellent performance she gives. Her very pleasing voice is reminiscent of the great Librivoxian Cori Samuel. The novel itself is a lively and entertaining - and satisfyingly long - listen. Strongly recommended.
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